$263 million Lusardi Tower breaks ground at Scripps Encinitas
Work to expand the Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas campus took a major step forward recently when Scripps Health celebrated the start of construction of the $263 million acute care Lusardi Tower and Lusardi Pulmonary Institute, according to a news release.
Scripps philanthropic supporters, Scripps leaders and local public officials gathered at the campus Thursday morning, June 8, for a ceremony commemorating the groundbreaking for the three-story, 224,000-square-foot facility that will offer a broad range of patient care services and facilities.
“This event marked a major milestone in the final phase of a master plan that is propelling Scripps Encinitas into the future of health care with innovative growth that will serve the North County community for years to come,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health, in the news release.
The building, set to open before the end of 2025, will have 64 private inpatient rooms, including 36 private medical/surgical beds; 16 intensive care unit beds; multiple operating rooms; and the Lusardi Pulmonary Institute, which will build on the hospital’s existing state-of-the-art interventional pulmonary medicine program and provide a complete continuum of inpatient and outpatient care, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. The expansion will bring the hospital’s total bed count above 230.
“We’ve seen demand for health care services steadily grow over the past decade at Scripps Encinitas, and we expect that trend to continue,” said Scott Eisman, M.D., physician chief operating executive of the hospital, in the news release. “The Lusardi Tower and other master plan projects ensure that the campus will continue to serve the needs of our patients for many years to come.”
The Lusardi Tower and Lusardi Pulmonary Institute are key components of the second and final phase of the ongoing master plan to greatly expand the hospital campus. An earlier phase two project -- a three-story, 68,000-square-foot medical office pavilion located on the northernmost portion of the hospital campus -- was completed in 2021. Phase one of the master plan was completed in 2016 and included the Leichtag Foundation Critical Care Pavilion, which encompasses an emergency department and a medical-surgical unit.
The newest building was supported with a $25 million gift in 2020 from philanthropists Warner and Debbie Lusardi of Rancho Santa Fe, the largest donation in the history of Scripps Encinitas. The Lusardis have a long history of supporting Scripps Encinitas and the entire Scripps Health system. They helped launch the ongoing fundraising campaign for Scripps Encinitas with a $1.1 million gift. Other donations from the couple supported upgrades to the hospital’s operating rooms and the acquisition of separate diagnostic technology to detect respiratory issues and bladder cancer. They also donated generously to support the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute and the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute, both located in La Jolla.
Fundraising campaign continues
“We couldn’t be bringing the future of patient-centered health care to Encinitas without the long-term support of Warner and Debbie,” said John Engle, corporate senior vice president and chief development officer with Scripps Health, in the news release. “Their incredible generosity has inspired others in the community to join their efforts to ensure that patients in San Diego County continue benefitting from the best medical care available.”
As a nonprofit health system, Scripps relies on the community’s philanthropic support to help expand and upgrade its facilities. Scripps’ goal is to raise $60 million in philanthropic gifts to support the phase two facilities at Scripps Encinitas, with the remaining funding coming from the organization’s income and debt financing. The fundraising campaign is ongoing, and more information is available by calling Scripps Health Foundation at 760-633-7722 or visiting www.scripps.org/HereforGoodCampaign.
Sign up for the Encinitas Advocate newsletter
Top stories from Encinitas every Friday for free.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Encinitas Advocate.